Petrie – Australia 2019

LNP 1.6%

Incumbent MP
Luke Howarth, since 2013.

Northern Brisbane. Petrie covers suburbs on the northern edge of the City of Brisbane, including Bracken Ridge and parts of Aspley. It also includes parts of Moreton Bay Regional Council, including Redcliffe, Scarborough and Deception Bay.

No change.

Petrie was created as part of the 1949 expansion of Parliament, and has always been a marginal seat, changing sides on many occasions. The seat has been a bellwether seat since 1987.

The seat was first won by Alan Hulme (Liberal) in 1949. Hulme served as a minister in the Menzies government from 1958 until 1961, when he was defeated by Reginald O’Brien (ALP), and Hulme won the seat back off O’Brien in 1963, before resuming a ministerial role.

O’Brien retired in 1972, and the seat was won by Marhsall Cooke. Cooke was not preselected by the Liberals in 1974, and he retired, with John Hodges winning the seat. Hodges held the seat for the Liberals until the 1983 election, when Dean Wells (ALP) won the seat. Hodges won it back off Wells in 1984, and Wells went on to serve as a minister in Labor state government from 1989 until 2004.

Hodges was finally defeated by the ALP’s Gary Johns in 1987. Johns went on to serve as a minister in the last term of the Keating government, losing his seat to Liberal Teresa Gambaro in 1996.

Gambaro held the seat for eleven years before losing to Yvette D’Ath in 2007.

D’Ath was re-elected in 2010 amidst a large anti-Labor swing in Queensland was a minimal 1.7% swing to the Liberal National Party.

D’Ath narrowly lost Petrie in 2013 to the LNP’s Luke Howarth. The 3% swing to the LNP was just enough for the LNP to win with a 0.5% margin, making Petrie the most marginal Coalition seat in the country.

D’Ath returned to politics within six months, winning the state by-election in the overlapping seat of Redcliffe in February 2014. She now serves as Attorney-General in the Labor state government.

Luke Howarth won a second term in 2016, increasing his margin from 0.5% to 1.6%.


Petrie is a very marginal seat and could well fall to Labor if the swing is on. Howarth bucked the trend in 2016, and it’s usually hard to do that twice in a row.

2016 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Luke Howarth Liberal National 41,475 44.7 +4.1
Jacqui Pedersen Labor 35,616 38.4 -1.1
Sue Weber Greens 6,840 7.4 +2.9
Mark A White Family First 4,746 5.1 +3.0
Catherine Buckley Liberal Democrats 2,877 3.1 +3.1
Andrew Charles Tyrrell Arts Party 1,239 1.3 +1.3
Informal 3,886 4.0

2016 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Luke Howarth Liberal National 47,926 51.6 +1.1
Jacqui Pedersen Labor 44,867 48.4 -1.1

Booth breakdown

Booths have been divided into three areas. Booths in the City of Brisbane have been grouped as South.

Those around Redcliffe have been grouped as East, and the remainder around North Lakes and at the northern end of the electorate have been grouped as West.

The ALP won a majority of the ordinary election-day vote, with 50.3% in the south, 52.6% in the west, and 50% (an eight-vote majority) in the east.

The LNP won the seat thanks to a 55% majority in the pre-poll and a 54% majority amongst other votes. These votes collectively make up almost 45% of the total vote, and thus were enough to overwhelm Labor’s majority at the ordinary booths.

Voter group LNP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
East 50.0 19,608 21.1
South 49.7 16,111 17.4
West 47.4 15,524 16.7
Other votes 54.0 17,796 19.2
Pre-poll 55.3 23,754 25.6

Two-party-preferred votes in Petrie at the 2016 federal election

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  1. ALP has started campaigning in Petrie. Candidates for Dickson and Petrie jhhgave Bill Shorten speaking at Town Hall Meeting North lakes Sports Club on Monday 16 April. Robo call from Shorten this afternoon.

    BOth HOwarth and Dutton will need to work very hard to keep their seats. NO sign of this hard work yet.

    If they want to win they should be door knocking themselves every day from now till election and every member of their party should be out at least one day a weekend.

    I doubt if either party have 1% of their membership with this commitment.Campaigning now is not hard yakka but hard spneding of money raised by professional fund raisers. Every donor to political parties should ask how much of each dollar goes to the the party and how much to you. MY guess is a $1000 donation to either major parties is $500 to the party and $500 to the fund raiser. therefore to all of you never give a party scrounger a dollar. Thank them for their call then decide how much you want to give and send directly to Party Treasurer bu cheque. THIs will be far more appreciated than the part that fund raiser will pass on.


  2. Labor have picked a great candidate in this seat who has the support of the Mayor, Allan Sutherland.

    Whilst Howarth is one of the LNP’s best campaigners, I think this seat will swing back to Labor enough for Corrine to win. Which will be a shame, as I think Luke has done a lot for Petrie in his two terms.

  3. Well this is my seat… I think Luke is doing a fantastic job even though i don’t support the prime minister himself, Theoretically Labour could win government without this, But i believe if labour does win and swings in QLD they could carry this but probably by a razor thin margin of under 0.5% If Luke wins it will only be on Pre-polls, remember Petrie is less marginal than Dickson, As Luke won bigger than Dutton narrowly, Despite the redistribution, Though unlikely its possible Dutton loses his seat while Luke holds his due to Dutton not being very popular (that’s why he almost lost) And Luke holds on being a popular local member, But we will see what happens

  4. Bridgeman Downs and Fitzgibbon booths border each other and yet they are the opposite extremes by 2PP. Bizarre.

    If the current federal polling in QLD is correct Labor are going to gobble this seat up.

  5. @Daniel

    I agree, Luke Howarth works the seat very well. That’s why I always thought he would retain last time and others would fall (being Longman).

  6. I think Bridgeman Downs is a lot different it is large lots and mansions and Fitzgibbon cram them in units…

  7. Agree with InterestedObserver.

    You can learn almost everything you need to know politically about Bridgeman Downs by driving along Beckett/Bridgeman Rds. Baptist church, big blocks, retirement village.

  8. What does Howarth do exactly? The usual “local member” things?

    There’s probably a book to be written about what trend defying local members do.

    I’m still baffled by how backbenchers who vote with the government 100% of the time and use Question Time to do Dorothy dixers can rise above their party.

  9. Corinne Mulholland probably won’t win, Luke is a popular local member and i live here, Lots of people like him especially in the North lakes area where i am (And this is a key area) Yvette Dath’ won North lakes in 2010 but lost in 2013, It is a Bellweather area, if Corinne Mulholland wins the area she will prob win but i highly doubt she would

  10. Definitely a Liberal Hold, No chance for Labor gain see my comment above. Hes a hard working member that always responds to emails

  11. Daniel there is no way the Liberals will hold on to this seat. I have a feeling that alot of good members will loose their seats, simply because the swing is on.

  12. Like i said as long as the North Lakes/Mango Hill area (My area) supports Luke like they did in 2016 then he should hold on razer thin, I know allot of people around here Bill shorten is heavily dispised in my area

  13. Luke Howarth had a decent sophomore effect last time to help him against the overall swing – that’s largely baked in now.

    Petrie has exhibited both sophomore effects and bellwether swings over the last four elections. (As Ben notes it’s been a bellwether for much longer, I just couldn’t be bothered going back further for the swing analysis.)

    2007 sets us up when Yvette D’Ath gets a monster swing, exceeding the statewide swing to Labor by just under 2 points.

    2010: Labor has a big swing against statewide but the effect is muted in Petrie; D’Ath does about 3.8 points better than the statewide swing.

    2013: Labor doesn’t have much further to fall statewide but Petrie catches up; Luke Howarth gets a swing about 1.2 points stronger than statewide.

    2016: Moderate statewide swing towards Labor but Petrie goes the other way as Howarth does about 4 points better than statewide.

    Based on the above it’s very tempting to suggest that if (as current polls suggest) Labor has a blowout win overall, then Corinne Mulholland will take Petrie with a swing about a point stronger than statewide. I believe the most recent Newspoll had a 50/50 here, which represents a 4% swing.

  14. It is a trait, Everyone was saying this would go Labor in 2016 because of its margin, And it did not, There is going to be a swing to the Liberals in the North Lakes here, Because i have talked to people and some tell me they regret voting Labor last time, (Im not even kidding) So If the government gets a swing to it in NL, Then it wins this. Local issues is a big key here.

  15. Luke Howarth was a consistent Dutton backer at each stage of 2018 leadership challenge. Goodness knows why (parochialism?); Turnbull was surely the best fit for a middle class marginal like Petrie.

    Whatever his motivation, Howarth has helped engineer the worst possible outcome. Scott Morrison. A prime minister who is neither the urbane Turnbull nor the Queenslander Dutton.

    Likely Labor win.

  16. Agree with David Walsh. Luke Howarth also played leadership challenge so badly. Peter Dutton wanted to wait until September before he pounced for the leadership. Howarth then forced the issue by indicating he would put up a motion to organise a spill. Malcolm Turnbull got wind of this and beat him to the punch by declaring the leadership vacant and putting it to a vote. Dutton then was forced to go early and it was clear that he didn’t have the numbers and the whole thing was a ugly, drawn out, struggle before Scott Morrision emerged as the victor.

    Dutton’s popularity is overrated in Queensland anyway and he was strongly disliked in the southern states.

    Daniel may cling to the Bill Shorten is unpopular argument. But I’ve heard its regional Queensland that have reservations about Shorten. Brisbane are not in the same category and some moderate voters are unhappy that Turnbull was removed. Also the pendulum swing will likely be too great for the LNP no matter how hard they sandbag this seat.

    Likely Labor gain.

  17. Daniel
    If you look back on 2016 Tallyroom archives you will see that”everyone “ was not “saying Petrie would go to ALP” I said that Petrie would stay Liberal.
    I said this because Howard’s is one of very few politicians who answers his e-mails and on the whole he is well liked. I predicted adjoins seat Longman would fall to ALP as it did.
    North Lakes is a part of electorate that is: increasingly settling into settled married life young school kids, very few singles and few single parents consequently increasingly LNP. It has a demography that will suffer mortgage stresss and Bill shock. The residents live a fraction from being beyond their means
    S. It is IKEA and Bunnings territory. Will vote Liberal till a recession and then will flock to zALP as a saviour. I live a few kilometres from Divisional boundary. Within a few kilometres of NorthLakes is D-Bay housing commission land and they are solid ALP voters. South is Aspley and West “ Little Aspley “ settlements of Strathpine and Brendale and Bracken Ridge. Looking at Ben’s map above you can see the solid blue in th West and red in East and South. The part of the electorate that is growing is the Blue. My prediction for 2019 LNP will hold Petrie but lose all adjoining Divisions ( Longman Dickson and Lilley) my prediction statewide LNP to lose 10 seats. It is not bias that makes these predictions but Newspoll, a good knowledge of Qld demography and geography and 50 years political experience. The then member for Petrie Sir Alan Hulme (PMG in Gorton Government) played a significant part in my initial move to DLP in 1967 with a pathetic response to a letter about what I described then as the pro-communist bias of ABC. As a 16 year old I thought he wrote the response himself but now know that ABC staff would have written his ministerial response.
    Andrew Jackson

  18. Finally someone who agrees this will be a Liberal Hold, Even if Labor did win it, It would be less than 0.5% In 2013 this seat should have been won by the LNP by at least 2-3 points. But it wasn’t Thanks to Yvette’s Popularity, She just couldn’t resist the tide, But she only lost by 0.5%, Luke will be like Yvette, He won’t fall unless theres a massive tide, Like 90+ seats for Labor,

  19. Hopefully they don’t put Labor 1st on the ballot, or above the liberals when they choose which order the candidates appear on the Ballot paper, Because of donkey voter’s (People who number the boxes 1,2,3,4,5,6 etc, down. Basically just some idiots who cant be bothered voting properly.

  20. No they won’t The government is very toxic, I can’t even tell if your being sarcastic or not, People don’t care what Labor will do as much as what the coalition has done for the past 6 year’s Your just wanting the liberals to win, well Labor will win and if you don’t like it leave, 9 seats would put them on a 2004 result, Sorry but in your dreams, the best I see the coalition doing is putting Labor in a minority government, The ALT right gets on my nerves the dutton backers were saying they would gain seats, I question Right wing voters, do you care about the future of this country is what i ask you,

  21. on current figures alp vote in QLD will be close to 50%……. which in federal qld terms is a landslide…. to retain this seat as a liberal is very unlikely… probable alp win

  22. R
    What is your reasons why Libs will pick up 9 seats? Facts provided so far nil. I agree that ALP will probably not win Petrie but ALP leadership have been working Petrie. ALP obviously think they have a chance. Libs winning 9 seats is verging on delusional. My prediction is ALP picking up 10 seats in Queensland alone. Rejecting polls especially when all polls are indicating similar swings (4.5 to 5 percent to ALP) is just hopefull feelings. ALP Ben Chifley style campaigning will work in seats like Petrie, Dawson and Herbert with large numbers of working class voters. It will give ALP a lower First Preference vote within the seats of inner city brothels strip joints and night clubs but this is no a great worry to ALP votes that go to Greens in Griffith will not flow to Libs on preferences.

  23. Sorry but you and charlie are on drugs, say what you want, but your corrupt party has no place i this country, cant wait to prove yya’ll wrong in april or may whenether the election is.

  24. R
    I might believe you if you argued your case. But no facts supplied means no one will believe you.
    Daniel is wrong that you must be on drugs but if you think yelling loudly will make me believe means that you must think I am on drugs.
    Andrew Jackson

  25. Went to an ALP organised Banking Royal Commission semi public meeting at Bracken Ridge Tavern this afternoon. My estimate 70 attended of which 16 were women. Age a scattering skewed a bit towards retirees or near retirees. Reflective of local demography other than masculinity of crowd.
    A good percentage of non ALP type including Finance brokers mortgage brokers. Jim Chalmers Shadow Finance Minister
    , Senator Ketter and Corrine Mulholand spoke taking about 15 Questions. Well behave polite crowd and even took an impertinent question from me in which they acknowledged that Bob Katter had preceded ALP in calling for a Royal Commission.
    If ALP behave the way they did at this meeting consistently Howarth May be in danger. Note I said “may” . This is a bit of a moderation of my two previous comments expressing view that Petrie will not fall.
    ALP seem to be campaigning to gather middle ground not screaming class warfare and absolutely no
    Mention of Green divisive issues such as Adani Refugees or crime.

  26. An ALP supporting friend advised me today that last week end there was great activity on Anzac Av and Old Gympie Rd In Kallangur Petrie Strathpine area from both major parties.
    I missed it myself but it would appear that Petrie, Dickson and Capricornia are going to be key seats.
    My prediction
    Petrie LNP retain
    Dickson ALP win
    Capricornia ALP win
    Andrew Jackson

  27. I agree, This is a Liberal hold, Luke really does work hard, He should hold until he retires or gets a scandal. Other than that this will be a nailbiter, and i do see this coming under 0.5% but he should come out on top with One nation preferences.

  28. I’ve seen Corinne Mulholland out working so hard for this seat. I think she would bee a great local member. Gave me the proper time of day when she doorknocked my friends agree she would be very good and lots of infrastructure planned as well!!

  29. not living in Qld but there seems to be predictions here on lib hold despite. the small margin and the predicted swing of 4% plus. this has me puzzled especially as this is an urban seat.

  30. Mick – Lib hold is considered possible because Petrie was first in line to fall last election too.

    Personally I think Petrie is exhibiting classic bellwether behaviour now. If we continue with a two-term pattern nationally, this will be reinforced by sophomore effects.

  31. IMHO the seat could go either way.

    Howarth has done a decent job in the seat however he has two significant challenges – supporting a government that still hasn’t freed itself from the Toxic Turnbull legacy, and facing big money.

    Mulholland is spending heavily on glossy brochures and has staffers (or supporters) phoning around trying to drum up votes. She is campaigning on the basis of class warfare and state issues rather than federal however. Her focus appears to be funding for state schools (the responsibility of state Labor whereas the many many students attending non-state ones are a federal matter), funding for car parking (a council matter), funding for hospitals etc. This means increased taxation and\or increasing national debt.

    Whether the politics of envy and free stuff will trump a proven track record is anyone’s guess. The expected tilt against the LNP does however make Howarth the underdog in this election.

  32. Luke is a very good Member for Petrie, but the Turnbull/Morrison government has betrayed the country as a whole with its inaction on a whole variety of freedom destroying matters – its support for the Human Rights Commission, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, its failure to force the leftist ABC adhere to its Charter & its passivity in relation to the crushing of free speech & Conservative opinion in our schools & Universities.

    Local infrastructure & facilities are fine, but meaningless when compared to the loss of our liberties and the irresponsible borrowing and spending that will destroy the futures of the next generations

  33. Nailed it Spencer, I’d even consider going home if they were to be Re-elected, We cannot afford another 3 like the last 6, I don’t like Shorten, But nor do i like this current government either.


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